For K on his 20th Birthday

What can I give you, dear one ?

You need not ought that’s mine.

And yet you teach me daily to give more.

I can only give my love to you.

But words will not express

Half of the joy I wish for you –

More words are meaningless.

I would give you laughter and hope for the years ahead,

Music and beauty to show you

Some of what can’t be said.

And O, I would give you truth, my love,

But it is not mine to give.

Instead I will give you freedom

Of body and soul and mind.

Tender thoughts and courage –

My love with no double-bind.

Perhaps I can give you yourself, more free

Than before. So you can give

To the world you love

Just a little bit more

Than if it hadn’t have been for me.

8th May 1968



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